The Unclickable Flash Settings Dialog

Much as I despise Flash for its crushing memory requirements and its tendency to crash any system I have, I do need to have Flash Player installed to view videos at various times. Usually that’s not a problem, since I also use ClickToPlugin to manage when and if Flash is loaded.

However, there’s a bug in Flash Player which appears to go back to at least version 10 and which Adobe seems not to have fixed, even though the bug is quite widespread: the Adobe Flash Player Settings dialog which sometimes appears is unclickable. (This issue plagues not only OS X, but also Windows and Linux.) The dialog generally appears whenever Flash wants to gain access to your system in some manner—for example, when the site you are visiting wants to use your camera or microphone or store data in local storage. Since the dialog is unclickable, it obscurs at least a portion of the Flash object and, for me, makes watching some videos impossible.

The workarounds often mentioned, which involve managing your Flash Player global settings (either using the Local Settings Manager for Flash 10.3+ or the Online Settings Manager), just aren’t satisfactory. There is a better option which may just fix the problem completely for you (it did for me):

  • On Windows, delete these folders:
%APPDATA%\Adobe\Flash Player
%APPDATA%\Macromedia\Flash Player
  • On OS X, delete these folders:
~/Library/Caches/Adobe/Flash Player
~/Library/Preferences/Macromedia/Flash Player

Thanks to Katie on the Adobe Forums for posting the answer.